UK: Bumper harvest for English Wine

06 January, 2010

English winemakers have hailed 2009 one of the best harvests on record.

A statement from Julia Trustram Eve at English Wine Producers said: “With a number of new vineyards also now coming in to full production, volumes are looking to be considerably higher than the last two years and likely to match (maybe even exceed) the record 2006 figures of over 3 million bottles.

“Across the country the fruit quality was exceptional, with many of the highest sugars ever recorded along with good acids. Excellent fruit flavours in many of the aromatic varieties were reported, along with the traditional varieties – Chardonnay and the Pinots – which displayed potential alcohols of 11-13%. There will be many more unchaptalised wines produced this year than has been seen for some time.”

There was little late frost in early spring, followed by a period of warm late spring and early summer weather. A wet July replenished much needed moisture in to the ground.

Despite a cooler summer than had been predicted, the growing season was boosted by the prolonged warm autumn, giving rise to grapes of the highest quality: ripe, very clean and free of botrytis.

Yields were variable in different regions, but the largest growth area, the South East, saw a bumper crop. East Anglia experienced a very dry growing season. Some parts of the south west suffered from late frost and damp late June/ July but bolstered by the long warm autumn which resulted in good, average yields.

According to reports, 2009 has produced the highest volume of wine that will go on to secondary fermentation. Michael Roberts of Ridgeview added: “All in all and fantastic year – a pretty wonderful build up for the London Olympics!”

The first of the 2009 still wines will be available to taste at the English Wine Producers Trade & Press Tasting, taking place on Friday 23rd April 2010 in central London. English Wine Week 2010 will take place Saturday 29th May to Sunday 6th June.